By D. Lynn Smith
All of the art and lettering for Gates of Midnight #5 is complete! Paul, my wonderful husband and production editor, is busy putting it together into a book form and getting it ready to submit to comiXology Submit and the printer. Amelia Woo is working on the cover for Issue #6.
Issue #6 features a charity ball at the Belvedere Castle in New York. And that means I get to play dress-up with all of my characters! When I was writing for television, we could suggest what people were wearing, but the actual “costume” was in the hands of the costume department and the director. When writing prose, you can describe what a person is wearing if it’s important, but otherwise you don’t want to stop the flow of the story for lengthy descriptions that readers are simply going to scan. But in comics, I get to dress my characters, and I’m having a ball doing it.
What a character wears gives the reader as much information as anything else. For instance, Raven’s favorite pair of shoes are her Prada combat boots. Even in a fight. She’s simply comfortable in these boots. Symbolically they combine the two parts of her character, the combat medic with the high fashion girl. Her signature look is designer jeans, Prada boots, some kind of nice T-shirt and either a leather jacket or her deceased boyfriend’s army jacket. Which one do you think she wears when she’s depressed or out of sorts? See you already are learning something about the characters simply from how she’s dressed.
However, Raven also loves to attend all kinds of high society functions. She doesn’t buy into the rich and famous thing, but she loves to play dress up and mingle with all the other dressed-up people. Her mother, Marie, facilitates this, since she comes from money. You’ll learn more about Marie’s background in issue #5. Marie is always dressed in classy clothes, but she has a rebellious side that she’s been suppressing. Now that Eddy’s gone, however, I think she may start letting that side emerge.
Now Constance LOVES fashion, but she dresses mostly in Egyptian-inspired fashions. You’ll never catch her in jeans, or even a pant suit. She likes showing off her body and her legs, and she has a real passion for Jimmy Choo shoes. Is it any surprise that in the other world she is the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet?
Alex is a bit more complicated. He’s hiding who he is. His signature look, if he has one, is jeans, T and leather jacket. Sounds like Raven, right? Alex is a reflection of this world. He tries not to have his own presence; he’s flying under the radar.
In Issue #6, I wanted to play dress-up with my characters, so I decided Marie was going to put on a charity ball for the Wounded Warrior’s Project. I needed gowns, jewelry, and tuxes. Luckily, I’d been preparing for this kind of event with my Pinterest pages.
I need to back up just a moment. I’m not a fashionista. I don’t want to spend huge sums of money on clothes and I’m most comfortable either in leggings or a summer dress. No fuss. So when fashion magazines starting coming in the mail, Paul came to me and said, “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?”
I’m having the most fun with these magazines because I’m not trying to dress myself. It can be frustrating to look at fashions you know in no way will ever fit you. But it’s exhilarating to rip out the pages and scan them, then put them up on Pinterest under the character page to which I think they belong. When I was a little girl I used to love to play with paper dolls and this is a little like that.
So I look at fashion magazines, search the Internet, and look at other Pinterest pages for fashions I might want to use for future issues of Gates. Each character has his or her own page with different fashions that they might wear. And this is where I find the clothes for my characters for each issue of Gates.
If you want a preview of the fashions in Issue #6, just go to the Kymera Press Pinterest page and look at the folder entitled Issue 6. Actually, just click here and you can see the different fashions for each of my characters.
The problem with this method is that I really can’t spend as much time as I would like looking for fashions for my characters. Would you like to help? Just send me an email here and I’ll add you to my Pinterest page so you can post fashions you find for each of the Gates characters. You might end up seeing something you pinned in future pages of Gates of Midnight.
For those of you who will be attending San Diego Comic-Con International next week, be sure to stop by the Kymera Press booth in the Small Press Pavilion. We’ll be debuting our second title, Pet Noir, with a special Comic-Con-only cover. We’ll also have the new Gates of Midnight graphic novel available for sale. I’ll be there to sign copies of Gates of Midnight and Pet Noir artist Anna Giovannini will be there to sign copies of Pet Noir.